How New England gave the nation the gift of hiking

Two hundred years ago, New Hampshire innkeeper Abel Crawford had a problem: guests at his White Mountain hotel were clamoring for the chance to summit the iconic Mount Washington. But without an established path, those intrepid enough to try would often get lost or return in tatters, having battled with scree and brush for miles. So Crawford, and especially his son Ethan...

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Accessible Hiking Trails To Check Out In Maine

Although some of us are still recovering from the winter or dreading another nor’easter, spring has officially started in Maine. As temperatures rise, many have already begun looking for a way to get outside and celebrate the outdoors. Luckily, Maine has no shortage of outdoor attractions, and many are accessible to those with limited mobility and people with...

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Wildcat Rock Trail Wins National Award

The national Coalition of Recreational Trails has granted its annual achievement award for trail design and construction to Conserving Carolina and its trails coordinator, Peter Barr, for Wildcat Rock Trail. Conserving Carolina opened this 3-mile trail in the Hickory Nut Gorge to the public in 2017. Senator Richard Burr and Representative Mark Meadows presented the award...

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Retirees wanted a place to hike, so they built their own trails

When it comes to being young at heart, the residents at Tellico Village are trailblazers. In 2017, a group of residents wanted hiking trails, but the cost would have been too substantial to take on. They decided to build trails themselves. “As retirees, it’s great when you accomplish something like this,” said Jim Lilley, a resident and athletics...

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Tower of Trash

Our planet has a population of over 7.5 billion people and as a result we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste per year. This is partly because 99% of the stuff we buy gets thrown out within 6 months of purchasing – this isn’t including food, human, electronic and medical waste either. This waste ends up in a variety of different locations; landfill sites,...

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In Chile, a Gorgeous, Very Rainy and Sometimes Lonely Journey

The “Route of Parks” should be emblazoned in your mind: “Road trip!” Technically, the “route” is a rebranding of a portion of Chile’s epic Southern Highway, or Carretera Austral, which stretches from the industrial city of Puerto Montt in the north to the skinny tip of the country in the south. As part of that, this January, the Chilean government signed an...

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See a black bear while hiking? Don’t panic; follow these steps

  It might be easy to think you won’t run into a bear while on a hike – but it can happen, and it’s important to always be prepared. Colorado Parks and Wildlife gave a few tips for what to do if you run into a bear on the trail. If you surprise the bear, you should: stay calm stay still let the bear identify you before leaving the area When leaving the scene,...

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Preparation Tips for First-time Plus Size Hikers

You may be overwhelmed before you even start your first hike. You may also be so worried about your physical ability to hike, your stamina, and safety that you are hesitant to even set foot on the trail. There is plenty of advice on the Internet. As a first-time plus size hiker, accept the challenge to get outside and enjoy nature. Don’t wait until you lose that 20...

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Hikers’ paradise: walking holidays in Dolomites Val Gardena

The beauty of the Dolomites is beguiling. The minute you set eyes on the towering peaks, the stretch of the Alps that looms over north-eastern Italy, you’ll want to get up close to them. Thankfully the mountain range has some of the finest and most accessible alpine walking routes in Europe. The Dolomites Val Gardena region in the southeast of South Tyrol is the place to...

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Clearing a path: It takes a village to keep North Country trail ready

Leaving civilization behind, hikers on the North Country Trail come for the beauty, the views, the solitude and the forests. “It’s the longest, skinniest National Park in the nation being four feet wide and 4,600 miles long, and people from all across the nation come and they especially come to the western U.P. [Michigan] in general to see our trees,” said Connie Julien,...

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Connecticut Hikers, Are You Up To The Challenge Of These 14 Trails?

Along a hill overlooking the Connecticut River in Cromwell, boys once watched sailing ships ply the waters as they passed a blow hole that shot water from a narrow canyon as the tide rose. Pitch pines and moss-covered rocks fill a craggy hilltop with a sheer drop to a pond covered with lilies and a forested view of two states. Welcome to the state Department of Energy...

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Hiking in Germany: Wandering as a national pastime

Early morning misty clouds wander around the steep, vineyard-covered hills of Germany’s Ahr Valley, enticing hikers to hit the trails to enjoy nature — and maybe some wine. But it’s not just any day to tie up the boots; it’s national Day of Hiking, marking the German Hiking Association’s (DWV) foundation on May 14, 1883. Hiking, or...

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Five Reasons to Hike the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established in 1996, making it the first national tallgrass prairie and the closest federally protected outdoors area to Chicago. It is less than 50 miles from Chicago down Interstate 55. And yet, despite this, many Chicagoans have not heard about it. Illinois used to be covered in tallgrass prairie. This is why it is called the...

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When planning a hike on an active volcano, safety before spectacle

Peering over the craggy rim of Erta Ale, Ethiopia’s most active volcano, at the lava lake below. Beneath a gassy haze, boiling, ruby-red, molten rock thickened and rose up, swelling like a tidal wave topped off by a fireworks of crashing surf. Earth is made up of blood and guts just like us. Take the opportunity to hike to the 2,011-foot summit of Erta Ale while planning...

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Adopt a hiking trail on National Trails Day 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018 people across the country will come together to collectively improve 2,802 miles of trails across the U.S. The Laurentian Lakes Chapter (LLC) of the North Country Trail invites you to join this nationwide effort by attending a Trail Adopter Day at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. A light lunch will be served at noon followed by an overview of...

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Best of the burden: Smokies mules make backcountry operations possible

In popular culture mules get a bad rap, cast as stubborn, ornery and even mischievous. But Danny Gibson, animal packer for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spends more time with mules than just about anybody around, and he’s quick to jump to their defense. “They have that notorious reputation of being stubborn, but they’re not really stubborn — they just don’t...

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Ten Springtime Outdoor Safety Tips

That first warm and sunny day of the spring practically begs us to run outside and hit the trail again. As everything turns green and wildflowers shout their colors, spring can be one of the most exciting times to explore our National Forests. Regardless if this is your 50th or 5th spring hitting the trails or finding the perfect early season camp spot, it’s always a...

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WNC experts discuss sustainability of outdoor recreation

Head into Pisgah National Forest on any day of the week, and you’ll find activity out on the trails. From hikers standing atop Max Patch bald, enjoying stunning views of Mount Mitchell, to mountain bikers riding beside white pine and mountain laurel on the Foster Creek Trail, outdoors enthusiasts take advantage of Pisgah as just one of Western North Carolina’s hot spots...

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Catalina Island beckons with new hiking trails, vestiges of old Hollywood

This 76-square-mile fortress of rock is marooned 23 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. Catalina is one of eight of the Channel Islands, and it’s the only one with a significant civilian population. Latest figures put the number around 4,000 people, almost all of them clustered in the port of Avalon. This diminutive city creeps up on the horizon like a postcard of tiny...

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Blessed hiking in the Accursed Mountains

The Peaks of the Balkans is an epic long-distance trekking route, through the mountainous borderlands of Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. Over a distance of 192 kilometres it meanders along remote valleys and over high passes, taking in some of the finest scenery this ruggedly beautiful corner of Europe has to offer. The route involves slipping backwards and forwards over...

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Rocky Mountain National Parks 15 Best Day Hikes

While massive glaciers shaped the meadows and peaks, Rocky was an inhospitable land. It was not until some 11,000 years ago that humans began venturing into these valleys and mountains. Spearheads broken in the fury of a mammoth’s charge and scrapers discarded along a nomad’s trail tell us little about the area’s early native peoples. Even though it was...

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Why are New England’s hiking trails so beat-up?

The next time you find yourself cursing as you stumble and sweat up a steep, rocky trail in New Hampshire, here’s one target for your wrath: Horses. Or, rather, lack of horses. “Out West, trails like the Pacific Crest Trail were graded for horses, so the incline never goes above 5 percent. That’s a major reason why they’re smoother and less steep,” said Roger Moor, whose...

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Tips help you stay safe when hiking near where rattlesnakes live

Rattlesnakes and hiking go hand-in-hand. But the more you know about them, the safer you will be. From timber rattlers high in mountain meadows to western diamondbacks in the deserts, you will find rattlesnakes. Proper clothing is a must when hiking near where rattlesnakes live. Wear closed toe shoes Wear long pants Staying on trail is key to avoiding a rattlesnake...

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Seattle to run bus routes to trailheads

The timber industry used to raise a cry of “elitist backpackers” whenever proposals to create parks, wilderness areas or protected recreation lands in mountains close to Seattle came up for a public hearing. There are an awful lot of elitists these days, particularly on mountain trails in populous King County. Crowds are such that the first leg of a popular...

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Work being done to perfect the Pacific Northwest Trail

The Pacific Northwest Trail is meant to showcase pristine wilderness, but the portion that passes through Skagit County, Washington isn’t living up to the rugged nature of the majority of the trail’s 1,200 miles. Hikers who walk the length of the trail spend months climbing mountains, scrambling over brush and dodging high tides along the coast as they make their way...

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Ouray Perimeter Trail surges in popularity

  A six-mile long hiking trail that almost encircles Ouray, Colorado has become one of the most popular paths in the San Juan Mountains. According to trail registers, more than 25,000 people trod the decade-old Ouray Perimeter Trail in 2017 — and that figure represents a mere fraction of actual users. “According to Forest Service estimates, the true number of...

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Quakes, eruptions prompt closure of Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed late May 4, 2018 because of increasing concerns for the public’s safety. It is not safe to be at the park on Hawaii Island, which is at the center of increasing seismic and volcanic activity, park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said in a news release. The decision to close the park, on the southern tip of Hawaii Island, was made...

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Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests

The U.S. Forest Service apologized for damaging the Appalachian Trail with all-terrain vehicles during its patrols of a pipeline protest. In a news release, the agency admitted that its law enforcement officers used the ATVs from April 11 to April 30 on a short stretch of the scenic footpath that follows the ridgeline of Peters Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest...

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Hiking etiquette: How not to be a jerk on the trail

Most everybody hikes for their own personal experience – be it adrenaline-fueled exercise or a contemplative walk – but that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore your fellow hikers. Trail etiquette is incredibly important, especially as more and more people crowd trailheads this spring and summer, but what does it mean to hike politely? For hikers encountering other...

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Hiking to the scenic summit of Oahu’s Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

The nearly 5-mile round-trip trail is known for its unimpeded views of East Oahu. From the top of the ridge, at an elevation just shy of 1,600 feet, you’re treated to a panorama of Waikiki, Honolulu, Waimanalo and Konahuanui, the highest peak in the Koolau Mountain range. Wiliwilinui Ridge sits to the left of the popular Koko Crater, and is part of three mountain ridges:...

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Pisgah National Forest could use a lot of help on Pisgah Pride Day

May 5, 2018 is the third annual Pisgah Pride Day at the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC. Hosted by the nonprofit Pisgah Conservancy, the work day will convene at the Pisgah Ranger Station, where volunteers will be dispatched to perform trail work, remove invasive species, pick up trash, plant a rain garden near the fish hatchery to help...

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National Trails Day 2018

National Trails Day® is Saturday, June 2, 2018. Join this historic event and leave the trail better than you found it. In a single day, we’ll collectively improve 2,802 miles of trail—the distance across the United States. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, pledge to pack out trash, join a trail work project, or clean up a park. Make...

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